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Fearless Racked correspondent Fawnia Soo Hoo is reporting live from the H&M flagship at Fifth Avenue and 51st Street. After liveblogging the wait for wristbands, she's braving the scene inside the store. Follow along below.
We're in! Well, actually we're lurking around the outside of the restricted area
8:02am: I'm inside and Prince's "Where Doves Cry" is blaring. The first group is frantically shopping and people outside the pen are waiting anxiously.
8:04am: I see a lot of girls grabbing the tulle dresses and the pink and yellow one-shoulder dresses. Staffers are replenishing as quickly as the pieces are flying off the racks. I see the faux fur jacket: It's cute. (Head over here
for a video of the scene.)
8:10am: They just gave the five minute warning. I also overheard that they have a lot of stock and will replenish generously.
8:12am: The groups are going to switch out in a couple minutes. Everyone's preparing for the onslaught.
8:15am: Watching some last-minute frantic grabbing.
8:16am: Wow, four tulle dresses and a couple faux fur chubbies can be really unwieldy to carry all at once.
A look at the crowd
8:19am: It looks like the accessories are in a back room and the clothes and shoes are in the front.
8:20am: A girl is attempting to talk her way into the exclusive pen. Why even try?
8:22am: OMG. There's a guy in the pen who is taking shopping instructions from his girlfriend on the other side. Cheater! They just got a whole bunch of stink eyes.
8:24am: A staffer just questioned the boyfriend. He does indeed have the proper wristband.
8:30am: The floral frock is adorable. Staffers are very amiable for such a crazy early morning. I just asked one of them a question and he said "Thank you for being here."
8:32am: I just walked past checkout and people are buying a LOT. One girl had a massive suitcase. The packaging is also adorable and fancy: Guys who buy suits get a garment bag, as do ladies with dresses. There are also reusable totes with attached faux flowers.
Cute tote, right?
8:35am: Now I'm up in Men's. It's a small space and it's pretty packed. Everyone is buying the sunglasses and there are about five pairs of shoes left. Wait! Staffers just confirmed that the sunglasses are dunzo. No replenishment.
8:37am: The sequin tie is also quite popular. It's going fast.
8:38am: No one seems to want the blue button-down or the windbreaker. All the guys up here are clutching shoe boxes and sunglasses boxes (if they were lucky.)
8:42am: There's a lady up here with a crazy fur hat. She has at least five dresses, a shopping bag full of shoes, and a tote full of accessories. People are seriously cleaning up.
8:47am: Almost everyone checking out has at least two bags. I don't think anyone is walking out empty-handed.
Bags on the menswear floor
8:50am: Because of the time limit, people are grabbing everything and then deciding on their final purchase outside the Lanvin area. I just walked past two guys guarding a shitload of dresses just dumped on the floor. It might be smart to hang around those guys and grab their discards. Why not, if you have a three-hour wait?
8:54am: Girls right outside the dressing area are ruminating over what to purchase. They all have multiple dresses and one has four faux furs. People haven't picked up on the possibility of discard stalking yet, though.
8:57am: There's no line outside anymore. Everyone is either waiting patiently inside the store or they went for coffee or a disco nap. I think I'm throwing in the towel, though. I'll keep my free tote as a consolation prize and live vicariously through the lady in the fur hat.
9:00am: Aha! Now people are hovering around the hoarders for their cast-offs.
9:10am Wait! False alarm! A staffer just told me that I should stand in line because they're "way ahead of schedule." I'll give it a shot. The staffers are still kicking non-wristbanded people out of the line and everyone's getting a tad irate.
9:13am: They're rearranging the line according to times. I'm going to give it ten more minutes.
9:20am: A staffer just had to call in a bouncer to clear the line of people who don't have wristbands. Interlopers are refusing to decamp.
9:25am: Another staffer just told people that if their designated shopping time is noon or after, then they should leave the line and come back in half an hour. But no one's budging. In fact, it's the opposite. They're closing rank and shoving me into a rack of clothes. I'm pushing back now.
9:26am: Yay! They moved me up. A despondent girl just walked up to learn that she'd missed her time. She looks like she has tears in her eyes.
9:27am: I'm like 12 people back, so I'll stick it out. I've come this far...
9:30am: A lady just asked if there's a bathroom on the premises. Valid question. In case anyone's interested, the closest public bathroom is at Armani Exchange across the street.
9:31am: Bad news to report: All the yellow dresses are already out on the floor, and there's no back stock.
9:34am: Oh, cruel cruel false alarm! The staffer just came to tell us that the 11:40 group has to wait another hour and ten minutes. Which is ahead of schedule, but still a long way from now. I don't think I have it in me.
9:35am: Apparently they're going back on schedule again because people started missing their call times. And as a feisty linegoer just asked, "What if you screw up again?"
9:37am: The staffer is telling people with 11am times or after not to leave the store, though. No one is moving from the line. I can just feel the dashed hopes and disappointment all around me.
9:38am: An H&M employee just said, "I need a cigarette. That and a nice drink." And it's not even 10am!
9:42am: It's official. I'm giving up for real this time. Wonder if I can sell off my wristband? Joking! Only joking, people.